TEDx conferences are independently-organized gatherings loosely based on the model of the TED "mothership" event in California, which has a $7500 price tag, attendees like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, speakers like Malcolm Gladwell — and a waiting list to get in. The Boston area has already hosted several TEDx events, including TEDxBoston, TEDxNewEngland, TEDxCambridge, TEDxBU, and TEDxMassCollegeOfArtAndDesign. Most are free, but getting a seat can be challenging.
John Werner, a managing director of the Boston non-profit Citizen Schools, is assembling the team that will put on TEDxBeaconStreet on November 17th and 18th. The event will take place at the Lincoln School in Brookline, and be simulcast at Google's Cambridge office. (Werner, pictured at right, points out that while Beacon Street is one of Boston's major thoroughfares, running from Beacon Hill down into the Back Bay, Brookline, and Newton, not everything associated with the new TEDx event will happen on Beacon Street.)
Unlike other TEDx events in Boston so far, TEDxBeaconStreet will include a significant number of elementary, middle, and high school kids in the audience, Werner says. And in addition to featuring speakers like Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele and David Page of the Whitehead Institute, TEDxBeaconStreet will serve up "adventures" before and after the conference itself. Adventures offer a chance to visit interesting places around town and meet the people who run them. Werner had introduced the idea of adventures as a feature of TEDxBoston, but that event no longer puts them on.
Werner says that TEDxBeaconStreet's adventures this year will include a visit to the medical simulation lab at UMass Medical School; a walking tour of Boston's Innovation District with city planner Kairos Shen; and a conversation with screenwriter Aaron Stockard, who wrote "The Town" and "Gone Baby Gone." MassChallenge and the MIT Museum will also be hosting TEDxBeaconStreet-related parties. Sounds like fun..
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.